Yemeni leader urges Saleh loyalists to ally vs Houthis

Yemen's president Monday called on the loyalists of late President Ali Abdullah Saleh to forge an alliance with his government against the Houthi militia who killed him earlier Monday.

"Let us turn a new page and go hand-in-hand to end this vicious criminal gang," meaning the Houthis, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi told the Popular People's Congress party, which had been led by Saleh.

In a statement broadcast by Yemeni state TV, Hadi offered his condolences for the "martyrs who fell during the past two days, first among them former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and all those who died of the heroes of the armed forces and the General People's Congress," Saleh's party.

Meanwhile, Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi described the killing as "the fall of the conspiracy of treachery and betrayal."

In a televised speech, Houthi said a large plot posing a threat to the country's security and stability was averted by killing Saleh. "Today is a dark day for enemy forces."

Houthi said Saleh had been in contact with coalition forces and had called on his supporters to revolt against the Houthi group.

"We warned them but they took our warnings as weakness and that encouraged them more," he added.

Houthi also said he told his supporters to celebrate in the capital Sanaa after Saleh's killing.

"A large-scale of celebration must be held in Sanaa to show our gratitude for getting over this hurdle," Houthi said.

Addressing Saudi Arabia, the U.S., and the U.K., Houthi said, "You will die of your anger," citing a verse of the Quran.

On Monday, Houthi militiamen executed Saleh -- who had until recently been considered an ally of the Houthis -- after waylaying his motorcade outside Sanaa.

Yemen has remained dogged by violence since 2014, when the Houthis and Saleh loyalists overran much of the country, including the capital.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains in Yemen.

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